PREVENTION OF FAILURE IN SCHOOL MATHEMATICS
Victor Guskov, a teacher of mathematics
To Teachers and Parents about the First Possible Cause of Difficulties in Math's Learning
For success in school mathematics it is necessary to master elementary mental computational skills at first. This statement is obvious not only for teachers. Everybody knows that addition and subtraction within the limits of 20, multiplication and division within the limits of 100 are the foundation of all next arithmetical and algebraic topics. But my practice shows that a level of the skills, which maybe is suitable for primary school, very often is insufficient for secondary school.
During last thirty years I investigated why some pupils can not study mathematics successfully. Now I am sure - the first of the causes is poor mental arithmetic. If elementary mental computational skills are not enough good, a pupil has no chances to understand and master more complicated topics.
You can find here a description of the study with some figures and diagrams, a test for diagnosis of elementary mental computational skills and a description of two effective ways for improvement of the skills:
1) The testing tables which are an effective means for training work. Their using lets to bring up quickly the elementary mental computational skills to the level exceeding the calculated permissible limits of the considered parameters.
2) The teaching computer program for improvement of elementary mental computational skills. It makes a diagnosis of a level of the skills; carries out the work on improvement of the skills; carries out control by a psycho-physical state of a pupil and by a level of permissible working load; allows controlling the results of working.
Diagnostics - simple test for diagnostics of simple mental computational skills
Improvement - two effective ways for improvement of simple mental computational skills
Games - two games for development of combinative thinking